Pampa Linda Guide (Cerro Tronador)


October 15, 2022

Pampa Linda is the area where Cerro Tronador is located, the starting point to several refuges, glaciers and waterfalls. It is located 80 km from Bariloche, of which 40 km are on route 40 and the other 40 km are inside the Nahuel Huapi National Park and are unpaved. The best way to get to know this area is with your own car, otherwise you can hire an excursion from Bariloche. If you want to do several of the trails it is best to stay overnight in the area, there are hostels and campsites. There are restaurants in the area for breakfast/lunch and dinner.

How to get to Pampa Linda?

As we mentioned before, it is located 80km from Bariloche and it takes a little more than 2 hours because half of the road is unpaved. 

It is important to take into account that 9km after entering the Nahuel Huapi National Park you arrive at Los Rápidos, here the road forks in two directions, one towards Pampa Linda and the other towards the Cascada de los Alerces. Both roads are one way, so it is very important to be attentive to the times when you want to travel:

  • Schedule from Los Rápidos to Pampa Linda 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Schedule from Pampa Linda to Los Rápidos 16:00 hs to 18:00 hs
  • Pampa Linda - Los Rápidos: Double hand from 7:30 pm to 9:00 am
  • Schedule from Los Rápidos to Los Alerces Waterfall: 14hs to 17hs.
  • Schedule from Los Alerces waterfall to Los Rápidos: 11:00 hs to 13:00 hs.
  • Los Alerces Waterfall to Los Rápidos: Double-handed from 18:00 hs to 10:00hs.

If you do not have your own vehicle you can opt for an excursion: Tronador Mountain Excursion

Or it is also possible to arrive by public transportation from Bariloche.

National Park Rates (2022)

  • Domestic residents: $260
  • Children from 6 to 16 years old: $140
  • Retirees and children under 6 free
  • Foreigners: $1860
Map of Cerro Tronador area

Walks and short hikes

Black beach

A few kilometers from the beginning of the gravel road you will reach the shores of Lake Mascardi where Playa Negra is located. 

Saltillo de las Nalcas

400 meters after passing the Hosteria de Pampa Linda, there is a road that turns to the left that leads to the parking lot to make the trail to the Saltillo de las Nalcas. It is a super short trail that takes 20 - 30 minutes. The waterfall is located on a rocky outcrop of Cerro Biblioteca. It is beautiful to appreciate as the 40 meter waterfall falls without touching the rock and it is possible to walk behind it. 

Black snowdrift 

It is located 7km from the Hostería de Pampa Linda and can be reached by car. The Ventisquero Negro is one of the 14 glaciers that Cerro Tronador has. The particularity of this one is that since it incorporates sediments it has a characteristic dark color. 

#Fact: Cerro Tronador is so named because of the noise produced by the frequent detachment of ice from the glaciers, similar to thunder. 

Black Snowdrift
Black Snowdrift

Devil's Throat

It is located at the foot of the tronador hill. To get there you have to walk a 1km trail (20 minutes) of medium-low difficulty. It is a waterfall caused by the melting of glaciers in the mountain.

Devil's Throat
Devil's Throat

Los Alerces Waterfall

The beginning of the trail to the Los Alerces waterfall, unlike the previous ones, does not leave from Pampa Linda, but you have to take the fork in Los Rápidos towards the Los Alerces waterfall. The trail has a wooden staircase and is of low difficulty with a distance of approximately 500 meters. At the beginning of the trail you can already see the Manso River running with its divine turquoise color. Then you can continue to an upper viewpoint and a lower one where you can see the waterfall in front of you.


Half day hikes

Perez Stone

This is a 5 km round trip trail of high difficulty. It starts next to the Confitería Los Ventisqueros located at the base of Cerro Tronador. You can get here by car or on foot from Pampa Linda (7.5km). Most of the trail is uphill. At the first viewpoint you can see the Ventisquero Negro Glacier and further on the incredible Castaño Overa Glacier. In total it takes between 5 and 6 hours to do the whole route.

From the Castaño Overa viewpoint you can see the glacier with its many waterfalls. A view similar to the one you can see from the Castaño Overa Glacier trail but seen from above.


Castaño Overa Glacier

This trail starts at the Pampa Linda Ranger Station. The trail has a total of 14 km round trip, it has a medium difficulty. According to the sign it is done in 6 hours but it is possible to do it in less, we took 3 hours. 

The first km of the trail are on flat terrain, then continue on the same path that leads to the Otto Meiling Refuge until the fork to reach the viewpoint (1 hour walk approx.). 

At the viewpoint you can see many waterfalls with water from the melting of the Castaño Overa glacier and you can also see the glacier from below. The view is very similar to that from the Piedra Perez but this is from below.

Castaño Overo Glacier
Castaño Overo Glacier

Full day hikes

Otto Meiling RefugeThis refuge is located on Cerro Tronador between the Castaño Overa and Alerce glaciers. The trail begins at the Pampa Linda Ranger Station. The distance of the trail is 13 km and it is estimated to take approximately 5 hours to climb. From the refuge it is possible to make several excursions on the glaciers of Cerro Tronador! It is possible to connect this refuge with the Agostini Rocca Refuge (by hiking across the glacier or walking along the conventional trail).

Refugio Agostino Rocca : This trail also starts from the same point as Otto Meiling. It has a distance of 14 kilometers and is approximately 4-6 hours of walking. Medium-low difficulty. From the refuge it is possible to do different traverses such as the waterfall walk, crossing the Alerce glacier or ascending the constitution hill. It is possible to return from the refuge by the Frias Lake, you can walk a 12km trail to the side where you take a boat back to Puerto Pañuelo. It is also possible to join the refuge with Laguna Ilón.

Laguna Ilón RefugeThe beginning of this trail is the same as the previous two. It has a distance of 8km and takes approximately 4 hours. From Laguna Ilón you can go to Mirada del Doctor, the trail takes 1 hour. This refuge connects with the Agostini Rocca Refuge.

Sleeping in Pampa Linda

In order to be able to visit all that the area has to offer, it is advisable to stay overnight in the area. In Pampa Linda there are inns, camping sites and mountain refuges, among them:

Pampa Linda Lodge

Hosteria Pampa Linda

Camping les Vuriloches

Well, that's it! We hope you liked it and hopefully it will help you plan your next trip.